Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Holy Humidity Batman

Met my training plan goals for Week 1.

Week 1 of training is complete, and I stayed right on track with my training plan. Eleven more weeks to go and I am focused, even though the weather has not been cooperating with my plans. I have to say that the last few weeks have been difficult for outdoor athletes, as I am sure many of you Midwestern runners out there can attest too. We had had a really mild summer which was awesome for running, allowing runners to sleep in a little more in May and June meaning we did not have to run at 5 or 6 am in order to beat the heat. 

Mother Nature has returned summer to us here in Kansas City, and she is not holding back. The last two weeks have been SO HOT AND HUMID. My lazy summer mornings have had to adjust to getting my runs in before 7 or 8 am or risk crippling heat and humidity. In addition to running earlier, I have been drinking 12-16 ounces of water during every one of my runs this month, no matter if it is a 3 miler or an 8 miler, and that has helped. With the humidity and heat has also come some rain, so many consecutive days that sometimes it becomes impossible to wait for a morning without rain. So, I've also had no choice a few days but to run in the wet, rainy weather. 

How are you beating the heat? What are you doing to combat the humidity? Do you enjoy running in the rain? I'd love to find out! Comment below.

Water is my new best friend.

Rain, rain and more rain means wet running shoes, drenched clothes and wearing caps to block out the droplets.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

First Back2Back Practice Run Complete


Let the training begin!

Twelve weeks until race time and the training has begun! I have been working hard on increasing my miles at a reasonable rate so that I do not cause any injuries to myself. I learned this lesson the hard way this past January when I stress fractured my tibia. I was training for a spring half marathon and was so excited for a few weeks of mild winter weather and to start training that I didn't follow the basic running rules or listen to my body when I first started having pain. It took about 7 weeks off of running, x-rays, and an air cast for me to learn that you must slowly increase your mileage and definitely take rest days in between running days while doing so. 

This past weekend I ran my first practice run of back-to-back races. I ran 8 miles on Saturday and another 8 miles on Sunday. I was really surprised that the opposite of what I expected to feel happened. Saturday's run was really hard, likely due to the high temperatures, mid-day timing, and near choking humidity. I had many mental conversations with myself on Saturday and had to really push my mind and body to keep going. Sunday, although I thought it would be the harder of the two runs, actually felt great. My pace was really similar to Saturday's (at about 9 minutes exactly per mile) but I made sure to run earlier in the morning so I enjoyed less crippling temperatures and humidity. I do need to keep working on getting my pace down a little more, but with 12 weeks still to go, I should be able to shave off a little time still.

All in all I am really happy with my first practice run. It is nice to have a comparison level established as most of the time when I have run 8 miles, I usually have taken the day after off. As I train for the I-35 Challenge I will need to keep working on getting my mind and body ready to run a farther the next day. Every three weeks from here on out I have scheduled practice back-to-back runs, increasing my mileage by one mile per day per weekend, reaching a final practice weekend of two 11 milers.


Last week's mileage; this included 7 miles of walking.

Are you running in the IMT Des Moines half or or full marathons? Are you attempting the I-35 Challenge? Have you come up with a training plan for yet? Have you started training? 

I'd love to read your comments below.

About me: Although I am a Kansas Citian now, I was once a North Iowa girl, hailing from a little town called Rudd near Mason City. I am a runner of about three years, although I have always enjoyed being active through walking as well as participating in boot camp and other similar classes. Through running I have discovered a love that I did not know existed. Growing up I was never the most athletic person on the team and I always had to work hard to be average, but as an adult I have realized that I have skill in endurance running and I absolutely love it. I am not the fastest runner out there, but I am not the slowest either. In addition to being a runner, I am a college instructor, wife and mother to three children aged 3, 5, and 7 years. I have a personal blog at www.mamagottarun.blogspot.com and can also be found on Twitter and Instagram @mamagottarun. This is my second year participating in the IMT DMM races

What's New in '15

Here's A Look at What is New This Year
1. TWO DAYS OF RACES The Principal Financial Group 5K Road Race has moved to Saturday, October 17 joining the Live Healthy Iowa Kids Run on the weekend schedule, while the IMT Des Moines Marathon, Half Marathon, and Bankers Trust Marathon Relay remain on Sunday, October 18.
2. 5K ROAD RACE DIVISIONS The Principal Financial Group 5K Road Race will feature 3 race divisions this year including an Open division for runners and walkers alike, a High School Division for participants between the ages of 14 and 19, and an Iowa National Guard Division to honor Iowa National Guard members and their families.
3. 5K COMBO Now, you can participate in two days of races by combining The Principal Financial Group 5K Road Race on Saturday with your race of choice in the IMT Des Moines Marathon, Half Marathon or Bankers Trust Marathon Relay on Sunday.
4. DOUBLE THE HARDWARE Your two day accomplishment in Des Moines will be rewarded with twice the hardware. A finisher medal on Saturday and another finisher medal on Sunday that will magnetically combine with one another to let everyone know you completed the 5K Combo.
5. 5K ROAD RACE STOCKING CAP Have a drawer of race shirts that you can’t keep up with? The Principal Financial Group 5K Road Race is offering participants a premium beanie stocking cap this year. Now you can start collecting stocking caps too.
6. FAMILY DISCOUNT Families can sign up for The Principal Financial Group 5K Road Race and Live Healthy Iowa Kids Run at the same time during online registration and save $5 on each Kids Run registration. The Live Healthy Iowa Kids Run will utilize the same start and finish line, as well as a portion of the 5K Road Race course.
7. JUSTIN ROBERTS Following the completion of the Live Healthy Iowa Kids Run on Saturday, Justin Roberts and The Not Ready For Naptime Players will perform a free concert for the public at the Simon Estes Amphitheater.
8. KATHRINE SWITZER An icon in the running world, Kathrine was the first woman to enter and complete the Boston Marathon. Hear her inspiring story of achievement Saturday evening at the return of the ABC5 Pasta Dinner in the recently renovated Community Choice Convention Center.    
9. EVEN HIGHER QUALITY SHIRTS Athletes registered in the IMT Des Moines Marathon & Half Marathon and Bankers Trust Marathon Relay will receive a similar design of the revered ¼ zip pullover only this year will receive an even higher quality premium fabric in the ¼ zip than in years past. With a new stocking cap and ¼ zip you will be one step ahead of the fall and winter running season.
10. COOL FEATURES Stay in touch with race officials and get the latest updates through IMT DMM PRO, the mobile app available for free download in the Apple and Google Play stores. Check out the new mapping feature that allows you to not only view the race course but location of services offered along the route. And, after the race purchase an official event course poster personalized with your name and finish time.
11. COWLES COMMONS Mile 26 offers a return to the newly renovated Cowles Commons in downtown Des Moines. A cheer zone, live entertainment, and final transition area for Bankers Trust Marathon Relay presented by Iowa Games participants can gather and await for their final team member before crossing the finish line together.
12. ENHANCED HYDRATION The IMT Des Moines Marathon course has additional hydration stations this year (25 total) along the course to offer more opportunities for Crystal Clear Bottled Water and Gatorade Endurance hydration as you run.
13. ENHANCED CELEBRATION The Race to the ULTRA post-race party has expanded nearly twice it’s size into a beer garden. Celebrate your accomplishment after the race with friends and family along The Principal Riverwalk with live entertainment and (for the first time) beer for purchase for both athletes and spectators alike.
14. SHOW OFF YOUR ACCMPLISHMENT In addition to finisher certificates, athletes can download and personalize their own post-race poster complete with race course, finish time , and name.

15. 15 YEARS OF RUNNING Can’t join us this year? Mark October 16 & 17, 2016 on your calendar as we celebrate 15 years of running the IMT Des Moines Marathon. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Training Plan for 2 Halfs in 2 Days

Let the training begin!

We are about 12 weeks out from the I-35 Challenge and I am really excited to start training. The problem is that it is hard to find a training plan designed for running two half marathons in one weekend. Most of the "back-to-back races" searches that I have done online these last few weeks have led me to training plans and advice for running to full or two half marathons on consecutive weekends, but not two races in one weekend. 

As I designed my plan, I had to consider (1) my running patterns and (2) my goals for these two races.

My Running Patterns.
I usually run 15 miles per week when I am not training for a race. To prepare for training, I have run around 20 miles the last few weeks so that I am ready to begin my plan by slowly increasing my mileage. I tend to run in the mornings and do have young children that can't be left alone so when I run, I have to consider getting back in time to get myself, them and my husband all to work by 8 am. Therefore I am planning on running most of my longer runs on the weekends when I have more flexibility. Also, I have decided to increase my number of medium runs and only max out to 11 miles, as this will tend to give me shorter overall time frames where I need to be out running but I will still get significant mileage in.

My Goals.
My previous half marathons have all ranged from 1:55 to 1:59 finishing times. I would like to beat my previous times when I run the first leg of the I-35 Challenge, the Waddell and Reed KC Half Marathon, and I'd like to keep my second race, the IMT Des Moines Marathon, time at sub 2 hours. I have never run either of these half marathon courses so I will need to study the routes closely to help me reach these goals.

My training plan.

Other Considerations.
I am fine with adjusting my training plan as needed as long as I roughly meet the total miles planned each week. I have decided to run four back-to-back weekends in my plan because I am usually sore, sometimes have GI issues after long runs, and am tired for a few days after I run halfs and fulls. With no rest day after the first half marathon, I will need to practice and teach my body to be able to work through those issues in order to be able to run the 2nd half of the I-35 Challenge while reaching my goal time.

So there you have it. I am currently in my last prep week on the plan I posted here, and officially begin my 12 week training plan this coming weekend.

My plan may be a good starting point for you to follow as you take the I-35 Challenge, but you will want to consider your own running patterns and goals as you create your own specific regimen.

Although we all have the same love for the sport, it's important to remember that every runner is different.

About me: Although I am a Kansas Citian now, I was once a North Iowa girl, hailing from a little town called Rudd near Mason City. I am a runner of about three years, although I have always enjoyed being active through walking as well as participating in boot camp and other similar classes. Through running I have discovered a love that I did not know existed. Growing up I was never the most athletic person on the team and I always had to work hard to be average, but as an adult I have realized that I have skill in endurance running and I absolutely love it. I am not the fastest runner out there, but I am not the slowest either. In addition to being a runner, I am a college instructor, wife and mother to three children aged 3, 5, and 7 years. I have a personal blog at www.mamagottarun.blogspot.com and can also be found on Twitter and Instagram @mamagottarun. This is my second year participating in the IMT DMM races

Friday, July 10, 2015

Why I'm Running the I-35 Challenge

As I exhaustingly crossed the finish line of the IMT Des Moines Marathon last fall I excitedly slowed my run to a walk. Grinning ear-to-ear, I proudly stepped to face a volunteer who was handing out the coveted medals. She smiled at me, said great job, but motioned for me to keep moving on. I remember thinking, Are you kidding me? I just ran 26.2 miles and I am definitely going to get my hardware!


Then I quickly realized that my own medal was going to be coming from a different volunteer standing slightly behind the first. After I'd taken a few pictures with family and friends, devoured some peanut butter on a spoon, eaten a couple cookies, and inhaled a slice of pizza, I looked around to figure out what that first medal was for.


After a little investigation I discovered that that medal was for something called the I-35 Challenge, and those finishers that completed it received a separate medal aside from the one given after finishing the IMT DMM. I learned that the I-35 Challenge is a cooperation between the Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon and the IMT DMM where runners can separately register for it, along with both of the other marathons, which happen on different days of the same weekend.


Almost immediately I decided that I wanted to complete the I-35 Challenge in 2015. Although I loved running the marathon and have big marathon goals for 2016, I had had a hard time finding the time to train, with the demands of my family and work. I also loved that with the I-35 Challenge I had some options. You can run two halfs, two fulls or combinations of fulls or halfs. I decided that I would run the option of the two half marathons.


Now that it is July and we are less than 4 months away from the challenge, I have begun training to get my body strong and capable of running two halfs in one weekend. I am excited to share that journey on the official IMT DMM blog this summer and fall. Look for me to offer weekly recaps of my training, advice for registrants, and just overall information that relate to my favorite sport: running.

During the 2014 IMT DMM.

About me: Although I am a Kansas Citian now, I was once a North Iowa girl, hailing from a little town called Rudd near Mason City. I am a runner of about three years, although I have always enjoyed being active through walking as well as participating in boot camp and other similar classes. Through running I have discovered a love that I did not know existed. Growing up I was never the most athletic person on the team and I always had to work hard to be average, but as an adult I have realized that I have skill in endurance running and I absolutely love it. I am not the fastest runner out there, but I am not the slowest either. In addition to being a runner, I am a college instructor, wife and mother to three children aged 3, 5, and 7 years. I have a personal blog at www.mamagottarun.blogspot.com and can also be found on Twitter and Instagram @mamagottarun. This is my second year participating in the IMT DMM races.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Beautiful Iowa Running

Along Sister Prairie Trail in Ventura, IA.

Over the Fourth of July holiday my family and I traveled to Clear Lake, IA to stay with and visit family and friends. We boated, watched a parade, went to a carnival, built sand castles on the beach and enjoyed a gorgeous fireworks display. All of these activities were full of memories in the making, but something else I enjoyed was being able to get in over 13 miles in 3 days of absolutely breathtaking running trails. During my time on these trails I saw rabbits, deer, turkeys, jumping carp, countless variation of birds, squirrels and a snake or two. Really, truly a breathtaking experience.

My daughter and I walking along the Sister Prairie Trail.


Running along McIntosh Beach.

My version of sand between my toes.


More gorgeous beach.

If you haven't already, you really should visit the various places to walk, run or ride around the towns of Clear lake and Ventura, IA, both of which surround the actual body of water known as Clear Lake. Doing so will renew your spirit, satisfy your hunger for natural beauty and help you feel more fit and healthy.

About me: Although I am a Kansas Citian now, I was once a North Iowa girl, hailing from a little town called Rudd near Mason City. I am a runner of about three years, although I have always enjoyed being active through walking as well as participating in boot camp and other similar classes. Through running I have discovered a love that I did not know existed. Growing up I was never the most athletic person on the team and I always had to work hard to be average, but as an adult I have realized that I have skill in endurance running and I absolutely love it. I am not the fastest runner out there, but I am not the slowest either. In addition to being a runner, I am a college instructor, wife and mother to three children aged 3, 5, and 7 years. I have a personal blog at www.mamagottarun.blogspot.com and can also be found on Twitter and Instagram @mamagottarun. This is my second year participating in the IMT DMM races.
*Portions of this post first appeared on mamagottarun.blogspot.com


Monday, July 14, 2014

Training for the I-35 Challenge

Okay, you've signed up for the I-35 Challenge. Now how to train. Rather than recreating the wheel and coming up with a whole new training regiment, look at ways to enhance your current training program.

The IMT Des Moines Marathon offers training guides designed for beginning to novice runners with a goal to complete a half marathon or marathon.


The week by week guides offer weekly mileage amounts with a break down of how much to run and on which days of the week. The purpose of the training guide is to build a weekly base, while incorporating a long run distance once a week.


Half Marathon Training Guide
Marathon Training Guide

While training for the I-35 Challenge it may be helpful to consider the following tips so that you can make adjustments to your current training program.

1. Increase your weekly mileage, especially in the 2nd half of the training program. Keeping mind the 10% rule, which suggests the rate of injury increases when more than a 10% increase in weekly mileage is added. For example, if your current training program calls for weekly mileage of 20 miles, consider upping it to 22 miles. Due this every week leading up to race weekend.

Allow for + or - 2 miles or + or - 15 minutes per week on long runs. Give yourself some wiggle room. Over the course of a training program if a couple of miles are missed here or there it should not cause an issue. There is more concern when we are tempted to 'make up' for lost miles by adding too much to the next run on the schedule.

2. Increase the distance of your longest scheduled long run in your training program. For example, if your current program calls for a couple of 20 mile runs, consider running 24 or 26 miles Build up your long runs in 3 consecutive weekends and then make a noticeable drop. For example 20 miles, 22 miles, 26 miles 10 miles.

For most runners the, risks for injury increase markedly at more than 3 hours of running.

3. Try back to back long runs on Saturday and Sunday. Start small such as 4 or 10 mile runs, depending on whether you are running back to back half marathons or marathons, to become accustom to the short or lack of rest period. If you are used to running on Saturday and resting on Sunday, start running (even if just a few miles) on Sunday and move your rest day to Monday.

4. Increase interval training. 3-10 weeks of 800m or 2000m variations for example will build strength and speed.


5. Incorporate hills into the 2nd half of your training program. Train once a week on hills and include them in long run routes. If you don't have a lot of hills in your area run a loop or an out and back on a hill. Run comfortably hard on the uphill and relaxed on the downhill. Repeat. Parking ramps and/or tread mills can provide additional opportunities.

6. Decrease the taper period. Most marathon training programs call for up to a month of tapering. Half Marathon programs call for two to three weeks. You'll likely want to shorten the taper period to one to two weeks out from race weekend and keep your long run distance a bit higher.

7. Run/Walk/Run. Jeff Galloway, Official Training Consultant for the IMT Des Moines Marathon encourages running with scheduled walk breaks. His training programs have successfully trained hundreds of thousands of runners and walkers to cross the finish line with less fatigue and faster finisher times.

The IMT Des Moines Marathon offers Jeff Galloway Training Programs for the half marathon and marathon distance. Follow Jeff's programs or incorporate some of his run/walk/run ratios into your training program for a successful back-to-back race weekend.

Visit the IMT Des Moines Marathon website and click on Training for more information.